[ RadSafe ] hormesis mechanism of action

James Salsman james at bovik.org
Sun May 8 21:55:14 CEST 2005

All of the papers I have read on hormesis do not suggest any
mechanism of action more specific than e.g. "stimulates the
immune system" or "causes slight damage activating repair
mechanisms which provide a beneficial effect."

It seems very odd that hormesis proponents apparently do not
consider that such repair mechanisms might be activated by a
signaling substance within the cell which is not associated
with toxic chemicals or ionizing radiation.

If the "repair mechanisms are just ordinary superoxide dismutase, 
catalase, and glutathione peroxidases -- which seems likely
because the harmful effects of both ionizing radiation and toxic
heavy metals involves the production of hydroxyl and other free
radical ions as the primary source of tissue damage -- then those
interested in hormesis might benefit from study of the ependymin
peptides and other stimulants of SOD, CAT, and Gpx.

Jerry Cohen wrote:

 > Hormesis can be considered a general rule in nature, but not
 > a universal rule  since there are exceptions. For example,
 > 3 heavy metals that show no evidence of hormesis are lead,
 > cadmium, and mercury.

So, for which heavy metals is there evidence for hormesis, and
where is it documented?

Howard Long stated that cobalt in vitamin B-12 is essential,
which is true in that B-12 is essential.  But no other form of
cobalt, including elemental, is neither helpful or toxic:

"Cobalt and its salts are relatively non toxic by ingestion.
Most cases of cobalt toxicity relate to occupational skin
contact or inhalation."
   -- http://www.intox.org/databank/documents/chemical/cobalt/ukpid52.htm

The article Howard Long recently suggested is here:
It only mentions cobalt in the context of gamma rays from Co-60.

James Salsman

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